23rd. The Olympic Torch Relay appeared in the morning mist at our village at 06.20h. The torch bearer is Victoria Swain who served in Afghanistan in 2010 for the Royal Engineers as an IED searcher and bomb disposal expert in some of the most hostile areas of Helmand.
20th. 'Just like being in Greece' was a birder's comment as he arrived at Weston-super-Mare sewage works, and I thought - what a great analogy as both have a lot of sh*t to deal with right now. He was of course referring to the song of the great reed warbler that has been here since at least yesterday. I didn't great great views during my visit, though the bird sang a lot.
More obliging were a goldfinch and an orthodox reed warbler.
19th. My 17-year old daughter Kiara did a skydive from 15000 feet at Dunkewell Airfield in Devon after raising £1000, most of which she will donate to Beat. Looked great - freefall at 120 mph for the first 2 miles down lasts only a minute!
The photos of her below were taken by another jumper wearing a head camera.
7th. Chew Valley Lake again in the morning. I watched a roe deer with a newborn fawn, and photographed garden warblers, which I saw at least 4 of. I heard at least 2 sedge warblers. Later I photographed a barn owl flying in the daylight.
6th. A lucky evening. Anna and I went to get fish and chips at the Stoke Inn before watching some barn owls. Food wasn't being served, so we headed to the owls early, and one was flying. A wheatear was near by. Watching the owls we were told that the squacco heron was showing very well at Blagdon Lake, so off we went. The bird was well lit, and gave great views amongst a background of lady's smock. Bird of the year so far without doubt.
5th. A short afternoon trip to Shapwick Heath: bittern, 2 sightings of male garganey, 6 hobby, 2 cuckoo calling, kingfisher, garden warbler and several whitethroat.
2nd. A quick but splendid evening visit to Chew - the squacco heron (second Chew record, first for 39 years) flew over Herriot's Pool, 2 hobbies hunted swallows, and a barn owl captured voles.